Viennese Opera Ball 67th Annual Charity Celebration in New York City

Jean Shafiroff, Silvia Frieser and Peter Hanke

Photo Credit: Patrick McMullan/PMC

The Viennese Opera Ball – the oldest and most prestigious outside of Vienna – held its annual celebration for the 67th year at The Plaza in New York City with over 400 guests, under the auspices of the U.S. Austrian Chamber of Commerce, and organized by Executive Director, Silvia Frieser and The Event Atelier. The Gala chairs for the evening were philanthropist Jean Shafiroff, who was also honored, and Denise Rich. This gala benefitted Gabrielle’s Angel Foundation for Cancer Research and was “A Night inspired by ‘Carmen’”, from the opera Carmen by Bizet led under the artistic direction of Daniel Serafin with Austrian conductor, Maestro Vinicius Kattah.

The vice chairs were Sylvia Hemingway and Peter Thomas Roth. Top opera stars performed arias from the opera Carmen by Bizet including Stephen Costello who sings in leading roles at the Metropolitan Opera and George Gagnidze, both in leading roles at the Metropolitan Opera, internationally accomplished opera singers Joyce El-Khoury (Soprano), Nathalie Peña Comas (Soprano) and opera star George Gagnidze, who attended as an Honorary guest.

Notable Attendees included; Jean Shafiroff, Denise RichSylvia HemmingwayCommissioner Mermelstein (Mayor’s Office of International Affairs), Kristen Edgreen Kaufman (Mayor’s Office of International Affairs),Peter Hanke (Executive City Councilor, City of Vienna), Stefan Ottrubay (Esterhazy), Norbert Kettner (Director, Vienna Tourism Board), Gudrun Senk (CTO, Wiener Linien), Gerhard Hirczi(CEO, Vienna Business Agency), Christian Frey (Head International Department, Vienna Business Agency), Julian Jäger (Member of the Board of Directors, Vienna Airport), Franz Patay (CEO, United Stages Vienna), Helmut Schoba (CEO, VGN Media Holding), Michael Trestl (CCO, Austrian Airlines), Diana Klein(Augarten), Wolfgang Koechert (A.E. Koechert), Petra Schneebauer (Austrian Ambassador to the United States), Alexander Marschik (Ambassador, Permanent Mission of Austria to the United Nations), Peter Hasslacher (Austrian Trade Commissioner NY), Alisa Roever,  Susanne Keppler-Schlesinger (Austrian Cultural Forum NY), Helmut Schoba (VGN Medien Holding), Franz Patay (United Stages Vienna), Christian Struppeck (Ronacher/Raimund Theater Vienna), Ingrid Flick (Austrian Entrepreneur), Klaus Panholzer (Schloss Schonbrunn), Austrian fashion designer Carolin Sinemus (Madl, Salzburg),Martin Shafiroff (Stifel), Sabine Riglos (Board member), Maribel LiebermanJanna Bullock,David HochbergCarolyn MaloneyNicole MillerElton IlirjaniLucia Hwong Gordon, Lady Liliana CavendishAgnieszka & Witold Balaban, Dr. Anetta ReszkoPatrick McMullanLuisa DiazCole Rumbough & Emily Mohr (Junior Chairs).

Jean Shafiroff, Denise Rich and Silvia Frieser

Photo Credit: Sylvain Gaboury/PMC

The presentation of the debutantes and their escorts at the 67th Annual Ball included; Reesa Artz, Clara Burtscher, Rachel Borreta, Mei Colby, Thara Eisingerich, Deborah Engelberg, Isaac Escamilla, Thara Eisingerich, Meyer Eskin, Shifra Eskin, Elias Wallin Giangrande, Gwyneth Giangrande, Joseph Grosh, Royce Howley, Catherine Humphrey, Madison Hoerler, Thomas Itkoff, Sean Jagermann, Alex Koschell, David Kuhn, Benton Madsen, Sofie Maehlkvist, Allegra Marschik, Spencer Napolitano, Maximiliane Norwood, Felix Oblin, Yasmeen Star Omer, Meghan Quinn, Rudolf Schatz, Nick Solari, George Stavropoulos, Anna Talos, Alexander Yale and Maximilian Yale. A beautiful choreography to the Carmen Quadrille by Eduard Strauss was designed for the opening performance of the debutantes and escorts by Vienna Dance School Svabek, headed by Sandra Stockmayer and Roman Svabek.

Event Sponsors included: City of Vienna, Erste Group Bank AG, Esterhazy, Austrian Airlines, A.E. Koechert, Schloss Schoenbrunn.  Donors included: AugartenLobmeyrHotel Bristol, Park Hyatt ViennaFrettePeter Thomas Roth SkincareJacques LemansLas Islas HotelMalan BretanMuehlbauerRiding Dinner Vienna, and paintings by Austrian artist FJ Baur, artist John Petschinger, artist Fer Da Silva and Austrian wine Mayer am Pfarrplatz.

The annual white-tie charity gala honors Austria and America’s cultural and economic ties, uniting two continents, two cities, and two centuries in one glamorous evening. It was founded 67 years ago by Austrian immigrants to the United States as a tribute to both their former hometown Vienna and their host city, New York. The gala attracts an international audience that includes diplomats and dignitaries, international corporations, and professionals.

William Hupfer, Victoria Flick, Ingrid Flick, and Thomas Mittermayer

Photo Credit: Sylvain Gaboury/PMC

Performances by Opera Stars Stephen Costello (Tenor) who sings at the Metropolitan Opera in leading roles, as well as internationally acclaimed opera stars Joyce El-Khoury (Sopran) and Nathalie Peña-Comas (Sopran), a renowned orchestra, Presentation of Colors by Midshipmen from the US Naval Academy, a midnight quadrille, and many other surprises all contribute to a glamorous and delightful evening. Previous notable attendees include The Honorable Michael Ludwig, Governor and Mayor of Vienna, Actress Samantha Mathis, and TV personality Star Jones.